Friday, January 24, 2014

What's Going On

It's time to come clean. I have been dropping hints and being vague about what is going on, but I think that it is time to let it out and share with you all what exactly is going on with me and my wonderful body. I've had some people asking or people who are kind of surprised when I tell them I'm sick so I am making an announcement. Please note that I do not write this for sympathy or attention, but more to inform and let you know where things are at and where I am at with the whole situation.

On January 4th, I woke up and was in pain. I thought it was the normal pain that comes with gastroparesis. That commonly happens and so I decided to take it easy that day and I'd be better by the next day. Sunday came, and a friend dropped by to pick up a few things and drop some things off. The pain was still pretty intense. While she was here, I got sick and knew that I was definitely not getting better, but getting worse. I decided to stay home that day, which was one of the hardest decisions for me. Later on, I noticed that the pain seemed to be centralizing in the right flank of my body. I called my parents to ask for advice and was told to go to Instacare immediately. The only problem was I couldn't get there before it closed. I promised to go first thing the next morning.

At Instacare, after checking the basics and all, I went in the room to wait for the doctor. When she came in, she mentioned my heart rate was at 140, I was dehydrated and that the pain was most likely a kidney infection, so she wanted to put me on IVs to help with all of that. I was there for 2 hours as they pumped liquids through. I was hopeful that with the diagnosis I would be feeling better soon. I was diligent about taking the medicine (even though it didn't seem to be working).

On Thursday, they changed my medicine, when they heard that it didn't seem to be working. Once again, I was hopeful. However, Friday night found me in the worst pain I had experienced. It was difficult to move. I couldn't even make it to the bathroom. I waited it out, because I'm stubborn and refused to go to the ER. The pain finally decreased and I slept well. However, I still hurt pretty bad pain the next day. After numerous people trying, one friend finally convinced me it was time to go to the ER.

In the ER, I had a catheter of my bladder, got put on some crazy medicines, had a CT Scan and spent some more time on IVs. It was a whirlwind. It didn't feel like I was there that long, but I really was. After the CT Scan, they came in with the results. They told me that on top of my diagnosis of infection they found a kidney stone in the left kidney which was passable (my pain is on the right side) and a small ovarian cyst on the right. They requested that I follow up with my primary care doctor or a Urologist.

I went to the Urologist on Wednesday. It was a breath of fresh air. I felt like he really wanted to find answers and took the time to explain things, explore options, and listen. It was nice. He also showed me the CT Scan, which mean I got to see the stone. It is 6 mm and is not passable. He also said none of the test results he had seen showed any sign of a kidney infection. He sent me to have a ultrasound, which came back normal and then did a stomach x-ray. Since then, a few other things have happen that have become a little concerning.

A week after that, on a Thursday, I had a HIDA Scan. This was to test the functions of the liver, gallbladder, and such in that area. It sounded simple and not very intimidating. I was to fast for 4 hours, go in and sit under a scan camera for almost two hours, while they injected a tracer, waited, and then a flush. I wasn't very comfortable to begin with, but as soon as the flush entered my system, the pain was intense. There was a point I was in tears because of pain. However, it was comforting because I could feel they strength of the prayers that were being offered on my account. However, today I got a phone call from the Urology department saying that the test came back normal. They said the next step is to wait for the Gastro doctor, which isn't until mid-February, unless there is a cancellation.

What happens next is not in my hands. I am trusting that there is a reason I am going through this pain and I know that whatever happens next is the Lord's will. Do I get discouraged? You bet. This pain is not normal for me. and not getting answers is hard. However, I am okay with whatever that may be. If this is a something that I need to struggle with for a while, then so be it. I know that I am in good hands and that whatever happens, is for a reason. I will take whatever it is and run with it as much as I can. They key is to make the best out of every situation.

I want to thank you all for the outpouring of help that I have received. There have been so many people (I won't name them all because I am sure that I'd forget someone) who have been supports. There have been visits, food, blankets, meds, prayers, flowers, books, movies, CDs, cards, candles, candies, texts, and so much more. Each and every single one of these things has made this a little easier to go through. As an independent, stubborn person, it has been so humbling to ask for help, receive help, and admit that I can't do this alone. Each of you have been helpful, whether you have known it or not. Just knowing there are good people in the world makes life so much better. Your good thoughts and prayers help. Please keep sending them.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

What I've Learned About Myself

The past week has been pretty difficult for me. (What a positive way to start a post, I know). It is said that hard times challenge us, change us and teach us things we've never known. Well, I have learned a lot. Some of these things I already knew, but we re-taught this week.

  • I'm stubborn
  • Not feeling well gives me crazy dreams
  • I have such amazing family and friends
  • Movies and books get old after a while
  • Seeing little kids makes me smile, even when I'm in pain
  • I don't drink enough liquids
  • I try to put on a face that I'm ok, even when I'm not
  • Asking for help is hard for me to do
  • There are so many people out there who care and want to help
  • I'm spoiled
  • Prescriptions make me feel blah sometimes
  • Other times, they actually help
  • Heavenly Father is so mindful of me and my situation
  • I'm pretty loopy and entertaining on pain meds
  • I'm falling apart
  • The pictures on the CT machine, kind of make me laugh.
  • Heated blankets at the hospital are  new favorite
  • My "Peanut Gallery" make waiting for help/diagnosis/whatever so much more entertaining
  • Me + Texting in the ER = Not Good = I don't like doing it
  • Some meds make me tired
There has been more I've learned, but these are the ones I am processing right now. After reading this, you may need a bit of an explanation. Without to much information or too many specifics, I have been in pain for over a week. In the previous post I mentioned being on IVs and all. Well, we ended up changing the prescription, but the pain didn't stop. Friday night, I had the worst pain of my life. However, due to my stubbornness, I didn't go to the ER. Yesterday the pain was not the worst ever status, but still awful. My friend took me to the ER, where they did blood work, catheters, CT scans and gave me some crazy pain meds. Needless to say, we don't have all the answers yet, just a few of them. I'm grateful to know what I do and look forward to finding out more on Wednesday.

This has taught me a lot and showed me ways I need to be better. Still climbing in this battle, so I'm sure there is more to learn, but am grateful for what I have learned and for ALL the help I have received. I couldn't do anything with all of you, and your good thoughts and prayers.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year!!!

I have high hopes for this year. I'm seriously excited for 2014. So much happened in 2013 that made it a tough year. It was also a year of great growth. I learned a lot about myself and learned so many ways that I could be better and do better in all areas. It is quite exciting to learn these things.

With that, setting goals (which is something I've struggled with in the past) was easy. I have a few things that I want to change and things I want to be better. They are personal and so I won't share them, but I am focusing on the things that I can control.

After the first few days, I had high hopes. Things were going well. I was feeling good. Progress was being made. I was truly happy. I got back in to the swing of babysitting. It was so fun. With one family, we even had a pajama party and the kids were so well behaved. We built with legos, had a dance party, decorated paper pillow cases, had a great lunch and more. Yes, if this was any sign, 2014 is going to be great.

The past few days have been a bit more challenging.I was excited because every year I get the first two Saturdays off at the temple, due to cleaning schedules, so I get to sleep in. Little did I realize what was about to hit. I was in pain all day and didn't really leave the couch. The other things I wanted to do, did not get done. When I woke up Sunday, the pain was still there and added nausea. Needless to say, it was an awful day and I began to recognize some of the symptoms. They were similar to something I had a lot growing up, but the pain made me think it had progressed more.

I went to to doctor this morning. My heart rate was really high, I was dehydrated, and the I was correct on the other part of the diagnosis. I was doing so fantastic that the doctor put me on IVs to add hydration, get me some medication and hopefully bring the heart rate down. Two hours later and two bags of fluids later, I was  re-evaluated and they said I was fine to go home with instructions to take meds, drink lots of liquids, not to do much of anything except walk around a bit, and rest. We are still awaiting results on two tests, which may cause medications to be change or more tests, but it is a step in the right direction. :)

Yep, that's right. I'm not too discouraged about this. Things like this happen and it is not going to stop me from making 2014 better than 2013. In fact, maybe this will get the blahness out early. I have realized how much optimism can help in these situations. I found it coming out naturally as a nurse came in to check on my fluids, she and I started joking around a bit. It made sitting in a dark room in a doctor's office so much more bearable.

I have not given up on 2014. It is still going to be a great year and can't wait to see what new adventures come up this year. Happy New Year! May it be so full of happiness and joy and love and peace and adventures!